Dear White Mansplainer

Pushing back against entitled ignorance

Hello friends,

I was so irate when an ill-informed white guy ignored my point about racism that I wrote a rant, which turned into this letter. If you are subscribed to this newsletter, this likely doesn’t apply to you, but I’m sure many of my activist friends can relate.

Dear White Mansplainer,

I’m not in the mood today. When your mansplaining and whitesplaining come in the same sack of skin they are doubly hard to hear, especially because - and I can’t say this too clearly - you are telling me things I ALREADY KNOW. In fact, in most cases, I know more about them than you do.

Take racism, for example. Do you really think that you know more about whether it exists and what it feels like to experience it than I do? Let’s think about that. You are basking in the unearned advantage of being a white man. I’m a Black woman with five decades of experience in being identifying and being harmed by racism. Frankly, I’ve got more than a PhD in this area and all you have are your unlearned opinions.

Or misogynoir - that peculiar and harmful intersection of anti-Black racism and sexism. Can you, part of the group most likely to perpetrate it, be more aware of how that feels than someone who’s repeatedly experienced it?

I don’t think so.

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